June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Energy Conversion and Conservation
22.80.1 - 22.80.13
A Nuclear Power Industry Career Development Workshop for High School Teachers in a Hispanic Serving InstitutionFor several years it has been projected that the current nuclear industry will soon be facing amanpower crisis due to attrition within its “soon-to-be-retiring” workforce. Furthermore, it hasbecome clear that national security issues demand an expanded, not a contracted, nuclear powerindustry. Estimates for the number of nuclear industry workers that will be needed in the nearfuture have shown that we must recruit many more individuals than we have recruited in recentyears, and that imperative, in turn, demands that a concerted effort must be placed on recruitingindividuals from non-traditional sources. Our university is designated as Hispanic ServingInstitution (HSI). Such students have historically not entered careers in nuclear power and are,therefore, exactly the students we should be targeting today. Consequently, several years ago ouruniversity entered into a partnership with Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) to attract traditionallyunderrepresented students into careers in nuclear power and science.To that end, a summer workshop funded through NPI was designed and implemented to train,prepare for research, and educate local area high school teachers for the careers in engineering,engineering technology and the nuclear power industry. First, an outreach effort to local areapublic, private high and junior high schools were organized to advertise and promote theworkshop. After a considerable effort of visits and networking, a total of twenty teachers with avariety of science, math and technology specialties participated in this week-long program heldin July of 2010.During the workshop, a simple, portable curriculum, which can also be used by teachers in theirinstitutions, was given to attract both teachers and students in the fundamental areas of ElectricalEngineering Technology that is applicable to Nuclear Power Systems. The curriculum includedboth lecture and lab sessions which are suitable for beginners in Electric and Digital Systems.Additionally, field trips to a nearby nuclear power plant and an oil refining facilities wereorganized to introduce teachers to the industry. Throughout the trip, the teachers had a greatopportunity to explore multiple segments of the energy world and interact with various industryrepresentatives and leadership. The trip was a very informative, educational and rewardingexperience for the attendees, university presenters and the program’s industry partners.Finally, a survey was conducted to evaluate the overall workshop and the staff/facultyperformance as well as the sustainability of the established curriculum. The great majority of thefeedback received from the teachers indicated the success of this program. This paper describesthis summer program in detail and presents its assessment results.
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